POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) — Even if your family is stuck at home, you don’t need to leave the yard to go exploring.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is now offering free virtual adventures to educate and entertain students of all ages. Each week, new lessons are debuting on social media and the zoo website featuring experts and animals.
“It may be anything from — get outside and pretend you’re a sloth and see how long you can hang from a tree… to thinking about participating in some of our citizen science work,” explained Becky Nellis, the director of curriculum and partnerships at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
At 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, educators will hold live Zoom meetings to highlight science concepts and animals. Each lesson will be archived on the website after it airs. The free programs are tailored to meet Ohio Learning Standards for children in Pre-K through 3rd grade, but Nellis said they’re fun and informative for any age.
“We don’t expect families to necessarily teach it the way a teacher would, but we want them to just be able to get outside and enjoy exploring with their kids,” she said.
In addition to the live lessons, the zoo is also using social media to engage families and teachers. With the hashtag #ColumbusZooSchool, it’s posting activities, videos and facts to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 1pm.
Many of the lessons encourage students to discover the nature and wildlife close to home.
“We also want kids to be able to learn how to get outdoors and think of questions themselves and explore those options and hopefully help us help wildlife right here in Central Ohio,” said Nellis.
Find the live Virtual Adventure webinars here. New lessons debut at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.